In 2018, Austria – a country of roughly 9 million people and 32,000 square miles with a diverse population, especially around its capital of Vienna – recorded 70 homicides, a increase of more than 20 percent over the previous year. That is a rate of less than 1 homicide per 100,000 people.
By contrast, North Carolina, a state of just over 10 million people and 54,000 square miles with a diverse population – recorded just over 630 murders. That is a rate of more than 6 homicides per 100,000 people, or more than 600 percent greater than Austria’s homicide rate.
In the past 10 years, I have personally handled more murder cases than the best criminal defense lawyers in Vienna. That isn’t to my credit. That’s to this country’s shame that violence is so pervasive that people – fundamentally no different than the people who live in Austria – engage in a level of violence in North Carolina and across the United States that is appalling.